Funeral for Powell boys draws 1,000-plus in Tacoma, Wash.
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At a Saturday memorial service attended by more than 1,000 people, family and teachers remembered Charlie and Braden Powell, the two young brothers killed last week by their father, as ‘clever’ and ‘curious’ boys. At the public funeral, their grandfather, Chuck Cox, thanked people for praying for them, saying ‘it helps us to know that there are good people in the world,’ the Associated Press reported.
The boys’ remains were placed in a single coffin adorned with flowers. The service at the Life Center Church in Tacoma, about 20 miles north of where the boys were killed, drew people from as far away as Utah, where the boys once lived.
The boys died in a gasoline-fueled fire set by their father, Josh Powell, when they went to visit him last Sunday at his home in Graham, Wash.
Powell was a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell, in December 2009.
Many of the boys’ teachers shared memories during the memorial service.
The Salt Lake Tribune, which was covering the event live, said Charlie’s kindergarten teacher told those at the service that the boy ‘was an amazing young man. He had an appreciation of nature I had never seen in someone so young,’ she said.
Many remembered the 7-year-old as a child fascinated with science and insects, often trying to sneak worms or caterpillars into the classroom. Charlie was about to get glasses and loved to write, dreaming up plans to market his book, according the Associated Press.
‘He is safe in his mother’s arms,’ said Tammy Ougheon, Charlie’s kindergarten teacher in Utah, the wire service quoted her as saying.
The younger brother, Braden, was also remembered fondly by his teachers, who said he enjoyed playing with cars and trains.
The 5-year-old had ‘a sharp mind and big imagination’ and was a ‘budding puzzle master ... with contagious, joyful energy.’
‘His little spirit lives on in the hearts of all who knew him,’ said Kristie King, an instructor at a YMCA that Braden attended.
The family will have a private interment Monday.
-- Ricardo Lopez